Geneva - SPA
Coronavirus Cases in Africa Surpass 2 Million Mark - Reuters Tally

Total coronavirus cases in Africa surpassed the 2 million mark today, on
Wednesday despite the slow addition of reported infections compared to
other regions around the world, Reuters reported.

With over 2,012,000 cases, Africa represents under 4% of the world's
reported cases, which many experts believe to be an undercount.

They believe that many COVID-19 infections and related deaths in
Africa are likely being missed as testing rates in the continent of
about 1.3 billion people are among the lowest in the world, and many
deaths of all types go unrecorded.

The regional's COVID-19 fatality rate at nearly 2.4% is the third
highest in the world behind Latin America and the Middle East, though
total reported deaths is far lower. Africa has reported over 48,000
deaths so far.

South Africa has the continent's highest number of reported COVID-19
cases at over 750,000, with a death rate of 2.71%, based on a Reuters
tally.

With the continent representing nearly 16.7% of the entire world
population, about 15 cases are reported for every 10,000 persons.

Africa's lower number of infections and deaths compared Europe,
South America and the United States can in part be attributed to several
factors aside from a likely undercount.

The virus hit Africa later than other continents, giving medical
personnel time to set up field hospitals, source oxygen and ventilators,
and learn from treatment improvements.

South Africa introduced one of the world's toughest lockdowns in
late March when the country had confirmed just 400 cases. Experts also
point to the continent's demographics.

The risk of developing severe COVID-19 increases with age, so the
continent's relatively youthful population is likely contributing to a
lower overall fatality rate, experts have said.

More recently, however, the pandemic is having an impact on other
vital health services in Africa as countries are forced to redirect
already stretched resources, a regional head of the World Health
Organization said.

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